Warning, I am a bit OCD about gear, skills, etc. It goes with the [surgical] profession. Or the profession attracts the personality. Anyway, I am just starting an email thread with random thoughts to ping you with. Maybe something will strike you as worth writing about, maybe not. No big deal to me, just an outlet if you don’t mind reading and commenting occasionally. Most of the below remarks are culled from an ongoing email discussion with a friend about things I have discovered as new to guns and CCW . . .
Right now I carry 24/7ish. I home carry all the time, then pop the small safe open in the bedroom, put the gun in and leave it open at night, closing it first thing in the morning after selecting and donning a gun.
I use the various Wilderness tactical belts without a problem. I prefer the Frequent Flyer because it is the lightest, but it is way ugly. Mostly it sits under my shirt, but I would not wear it if it could be seen.
I still use the Safepacker for the G26 while riding the mountain bike. No concerns even in the most tech terrain. Unfortunately, it is difficult to deploy the gun, mostly due to my thick gloves, but also due to where it is located. Reholstering is much more of a pain for the same reasons. Still, it is really nice to get way, way out there, park the bike and practice double taps into small bushes on the side of hills for 10 minutes or so. I am going through around 50 rounds per week doing this now.
I totally agree with your concerns about the “Bag Carry.” I have briefly forgotten about the gun in the pack several times, and in so doing broken my “on my person or in the safe” pledge to myself. I try to be meticulous about returning it to safe or holster once back from riding.
The G26 is an excellent, reliable, and accurate gun in my hands. I love this little thing.
Since I sent the Kel Tec P3AT in for service, I have upsized my daily carry, carrying the G26 or [Rohrbaugh] R9 daily and have not really found it to be bad at all, IWB for the G26 with occasional pocket carry in cargo shorts. It pretty well disappears. A Crossbreed Supertuck did not work out for me due to its size; it just takes up too much real estate inside my pants. I have a tuckable Blade Tech “Ultimate Concealment Holster” that works pretty well tucked in.
I saw a day’s worth of patients using it and no one including my wife was the wiser. The G26 is a much more capable pistol than either the R9 or P3AT in every way, it’s just thick. I am interested in trying an ankle holster for use at work in my typical Dockers/button down attire.
For pocket Holsters, the Desantis Nemesis is extremely hard to beat IMO. It prints more than I would like, but it carries so nicely. I have one for the G26, the P3AT, and the R9. I also tried a Recluse pocket holster (one-sided with a trigger guard, look it up, funky). It is very secure (I like the way it holds the trigger), draws awesome, and prints “square thing” not “gun”. It is twice the price, just feels a little unbalanced to me in the pocket compared to the Nemesis.
The R9 feels lighter in the pocket using the Nemesis. So if I worry about printing, I use the Recluse, otherwise, I think Nemesis is the way to go, and they are cheap. I also use Nemesis holsters in the closet gun safe. I also tried the Superfly and sent it back due to its thickness.
I tried Remora IWB stuff and didn’t care for it. They didn’t move around, they were comfy, but I was unable to get a combat grip on the weapon since they let it sink too deeply. Re-holstering was difficult. Quality stuff, but I did not feel they were any better than what already used I had so sent them back.
The Galco M7 Matrix belt holster are the only plastic holster I found that would snap on the belt OWB. Beware of using their G30 holster with a G30SF gun because it is nearly impossible to use as the retention is so tight. I am told it works well with a non-SF G30, but have not tried it personally(see comments).
I have found of the holsters I have tried, that the cheapo $13 Glock brand holsters are the best and most concealable of the belt holsters. I doubt I will pay for something nicer again. Their only downside is the difficulty of threading them on and off the belt.
A Glock 30 short frame could be the perfect handgun except for weight….sigh. It shoots well, but in my hands is significantly slower to get sites on target for a second shot compared to the 9mm G26. Mine will reside in the big safe for a while. I really wanted to love the .45 but alas, after a bunch of testing and thinking have come back to 9mm.
Loaded G30 (10 rounds)=33.4 oz
Loaded G17 (17 rounds)=32.4 oz and thinner to boot. Even though the grip and barrel are longer, it conceals about the same as the G30.
Loaded G26 (10 rounds) = feels like nothing at 26 oz and conceals great. Almost a large pocket pistol.
I like the idea of keeping everything the same caliber that I carry/plan to use, so I carry the G26 mainly, keep G17 in safe for home defense and can use the bigger mags in either. I use the R9 for pocket days.
My Kel Tec P-3AT has been a stinking hunk of poo. Currently it’s back at the factory. That said: I loved its weight and with a few mods, I had the grip dialed for me. I could shoot it all day, but the gun absolutely would not run. Kel Tec fanboys would say fluff and buff… P-3ATs are just sucky cheap guns IMO. I wanted to love it, gave it a chance, no love so far.
My Rohrbach R9 is a fabulous gun. It has run a couple hundred rounds and a spring change through it with zero issues. My only beef is that the grip is too smooth, like a bar of soap, and a little short for me. The trigger guard also is sharp and cuts into my middle finger a bit. I have it pretty dialed with some coban wrap on the grip and modifying a Kahr 9mm Pearce extension for the mag and I like the grip just fine now. Total cost for the mod = $10.
It’s easy to strip unless you are an arthritic old guy. They complain, but I can field strip in a few seconds. Many, many fanbois on the Rohrbaugh forums. Sometimes this is good, sometimes bad.
I have studied up on ballistics and have to say I am biased towards the Fackler camp. No pistol has significant enough velocity to fragment a bullet, so large bullets are the way to go ballistically. He has great ballistic science and physiology on his side. It doesn’t hurt my opinion of him that he is a surgeon.
The whole one shot stop thing is completely bogus IMO (same for “energy transfer”). Shock waves work in solid organs like liver and spleen, but nowhere else. I did see a guy die on the table once from a completely shattered liver due to bleeding. It was an impressive injury. No idea on the caliber, but it was not the typical .22 we usually saw with GSWs. The liver blew apart and there was no stopping the bleeding despite the guy being awake/alive on hitting the door.
What you end up carrying is as always a compromise. Despite my love of big bullets, I agree with what Suarez says in these posts about 9mm.
He is incorrect about .45 being only 1mm bigger than 9mm. A .45 caliber hole has nearly twice the area of a 9mm hole. In surgery school, we learn a little about flow rates of fluid through holes. An 11.43mm hole can flow a fluid through that hole around 2.5 times as fast as a 9mm hole.
There is no doubt in my mind bigger holes lead to faster incapacitation. This discounts bullet expansion of course and is fairly simplistic. If I only was allowed one shot: .45 for sure. The reality is that it usually takes several hits to incapacitate an attacker and with several hits, difference in the major calibers diminishes, so why not go with capacity.
The .380, 9mm, 9mm+p, .357 SIG and .357 mag are essentially the same bullet diameter at different speeds and weights with increasing penetration and/or expansion being the advantages of the hotter loads. I think a low pressure, heavier, larger diameter bullet is generally better for the job in a human. Put me in the .45 fan camp. Hypocritically, I don’t carry one because it is too heavy. Compromises. Weight versus power.
An R9 at 20oz is 54% heavier than the P3AT at 13oz (both loaded and holstered)
R9 Muzzle Energy is about 290 ft lb (reg pressure Gold Dot) versus 249 for +P buffalo Bore .380, versus maybe 200 ft lb for standard 380.
If you compare the energy of various pistol rounds to a typical 30-06 round from a rifle as a percentage it goes something like this:
.380 +p =8%
9mm reg short barrel=9.5%
9mm +P reg barrel= 14%
All that to say that pistols suck, some just suck more than others, and while the short the R9 may pack “50%” more punch than a standard .380, it is also 50% heavier and that difference is just a drop in the bucket difference (3%) compared to a real rifle round. The difference almost goes away when shooting the hot .380. Shot placement rules. Period. I would take a reliable, light .380 that can accept hot loads over the R9. The P3AT is not that gun.
My tastes are generally more Porsche than Corvette, so I think I will stick with the 109 yo Euro caliber. But I would not feel under gunned with a .380 either (and I like Lotus more than either of the above because they do a lot with a little:))
I’ll leave you with that!